Investigation Claims Tavis Smiley Victimized Staff And Guests With Sexual Harassment, Verbal Abuse
Photo Credit: LITTLE ROCK, AR - SEPTEMBER 23: Broadcaster/Producer, &CEO Tavis Smiley officiates Courting Justice: Little Rock, Arkansas at Central Arkansas Library Ron Robinson Theatre on September 23, 2016 in Little Rock, Arkansa (Photo by Earl Gibson III/Getty Images)
News , Television

Investigation Claims Tavis Smiley Victimized Staff And Guests With Sexual Harassment, Verbal Abuse

The ongoing investigation PBS had commissioned regarding the working environment at Tavis Smiley’s self-titled talk show seems to be complete.

According to Deadline, the unsealed 472-page report, compiled by an external investigator, finds Smiley to have “spent decades in sexual relationships with subordinates and guests on his show.” The report, Deadline continues, also states that Smiley has “committed acts of verbal abuse, inappropriate touching and made unwanted sexual comments.”

Along with multiple accounts of sexual harassment, several witnesses have also given their accounts of Smiley creating a verbally abusive, toxic working environment for his employees, including yelling, making threatening, intimidating comments, making racially insensitive comments and saying racial slurs.

Smiley’s legal representation filed the report as part of its argument that PBS breached the contract it made with Smiley. According to the documents filed by Smiley’s representation, Smiley’s team claims there were issues with the investigation, such as determining witness credibility. However, as a response, PBS has countersued Smiley for the return of $1.9 million in production advances.

The investigation began in 2018 after PBS decided to cut ties with the political and cultural pundit after “multiple, credible allegations of conduct” inconsistent with PBS’ values.


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